Archive for the ‘Indulgences’ Category
Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my favorite dishes. Usually, it is flattened chicken breast rolled around ham with cheese, breaded, and fried. An American dish, it has its roots in the Schnitzel from Switzerland and Chicken Kiev from Russia. Cordon Bleu means Blue Ribbon, not to be confused with the famous cooking school of the same name.
Beer Can Chicken has wonderful flavor, but does not lend itself to small pieces of chicken.
I try to not deep fry things too often, and I don’t like breading that much. I had chicken tenders, black forest ham, Swiss cheese, and a can of beer. I thought I could combine them and make Gussied Up Beer Can Chicken. Perfect!
My small 4 quart Nesco Roaster oven was the best appliance to use for this, just simply fill the well with some of the beer, and let it cook. Beer Can Chicken all gussied up.
This is a really simple dish to make. If you don’t have a Nesco, then you can use a baking dish, a cake rack, some foil and your oven. It might not turn out quite the same, but it will still be good.
This recipe calls for Lavender mustard – if you can get it, wonderful, if not, use Dijon.
A very long time ago, a friend took me to a wonderful restaurant where Santa Monica Blvd meets Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood, California. The restaurant was called Figaro, and my friend said I should order his favorite salad. I don’t remember what it was called, but I have always remembered how good it was.
Years later, when this same friend came back into my life, I told him I had a surprise and presented this salad. He was so happy he almost wept, saying he never thought he would have that salad at Figaro’s again – as the restaurant had closed quite some time before.
I really like watching America’s Test Kitchen, and follow them on Facebook. So, when they announced a Kitchen Challenge to make Chicken à la King, I just had to take up the challenge. What makes my Chicken a la King different? Well, it’s barbecue season, and my Weber was sitting outside, crying that it couldn’t join in the fun. I thought to myself, why not? Pimentos are nothing more than very mild chili peppers. I had some lovely yellow, orange and red sweet peppers, and I had some mushrooms and shallots. I also had a chicken breast. All those could go on the grill, couldn’t they? Sure, they could get a lot of flavor to add to a dish that I already really like.
The America’s Test Kitchen challenge is to cook like it’s 1917. Charcoal was developed from waste wood scrap in the Ford Motor Company in 1920, and renamed Kingsford thereafter. Kingsford was a relative of Henry Ford. The Weber grill was not invented until the 1960s but I’m sure that people were barbecuing in some sort of fashion in 1917 – how else would Henry Ford have been able to sell charcoal? I think I’m okay with the time-line, don’t you?
There was a wonderful tip from America’s Test Kitchen that I’ve been doing for quite a while, only not as efficiently. To protect iced cakes from plastic wrap, I’ve been sticking the top with toothpicks. America’s Test Kitchen uses spaghetti noodles – they’re more plentiful, and easy to break for whatever length you want.
So, when I decided to make my pie today, and didn’t want it getting over burdened with plastic wrap, I took linguine noodles, stuck them in, covered my pie, and stuck it in the refrigerator. Now it won’t pick up any bad smells, or have any of it come off with the plastic wrap. There’s a bunch of other transport tricks at America’s Test Kitchen.
Spane liked the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle so much that he asked me if I could make it again. There were fresh raspberries and blueberries on sale at the market, but I didn’t want another trifle, I wanted a tart.
Recipes in this Post
I think all of us have been tempted to buy the pesto sauce in the refrigerated sauce section at the supermarket. The one at the supermarket has things in it you will never find in fresh pesto, whey, milk, canola oil, water and 2% or less of garlic puree. Some brands do have pine nuts, others use walnuts. But, there is nothing like the real thing.
Pesto is one of the easiest sauces to make, and can be used on a variety of foods. Heck, it’s good just on a spoon!
When you make pesto, it’s important to have fresh ingredients. If you can find pine nuts in the refrigerated section, those are best. If not, look for nuts that are of a uniform pale cream color, with no spots. Pine nuts are the edible seeds of, yes, pine trees. Please use good Parmesan cheese as well, you don’t have to get Parmigiano-Reggiano, but at least get the cheese in the refrigerated section.
If you’re angry at someone and want to take your aggression out on something, you can use a mortar and pestle, and grind away for a very long time. Or, if you don’t have any aggression, then please use a food processor.
Recipes in this Post
I am so happy that the warmer weather is here, and salads are the way to go. Composed salads made by stuffing a fruit or vegetable are a favorite in our house. I found crayfish at the store, and bought some shrimp to go with it. Since we usually eat seafood on Fridays, using the shrimp and crayfish to stuff an avocado seemed like a perfect idea. Spane and I also love asparagus, which looks lovely on a plate. It is also the year that Haas avocados are plentiful.
Avocados produce fruit prolifically every two years, that’s why they are expensive one year, and really cheap the next. Did you know that all commercial, fruit-bearing Hass avocado trees have been grown from grafted seedlings propagated from a single tree? The tree was grown from a seed bought by Rudolph Hass in 1926 from A. R. Rideout of Whittier, California. The mother tree stood for many years in front of a residence in La Habra Heights. The tree died when it was 76 years old and was cut down on 11 September 2002 after a ten-year fight with root rot. Two plaques by the private residence at 426 West Road mark the spot where it grew. Because of the avocado, just about any food with California in the name has avocados. I love ‘em.